Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Mantle-2012

Well, I barely had enough time to decorate this fall (by barely I mean I had better things to do-like watching t.v. all day in my pjs whilst eating chocolate cookie dough ice cream). But I wanted to be able to link up to CensationalGirl's fall mantles party today. So, I threw something together this weekend.

I have my fall scents in my Scentys and I have my decor up but really, it's not fall here in Florida yet. It's still hovering at 85-90 degrees (which, admittedly, isn't awful) but it's certainly no 70 degrees and blustery.

I want a blustery day.  A day where the windows in the house are all open because it's cooler outside than it is if I turn on the air. A day where, when I do have those windows open, it is just this side of nippy in our house and I can make chili in the evening and not sweat my balls off (figuratively speaking). A day where I can light our fire pit out back because there's a nice brisk breeze and the smell of the burning wood floats into our open windows. A blustery day y'all!

But, alas, I live in Florida. And I won't have those lovely days until February. And of course, by then, everyone else will have blizzards and such and be sooo envious of my location, location, location but until then I have to endure my favorite season without the weather to accompany it. Halloween? Hot as Hades. Thanksgiving? As thermal as the turkey in the oven. Yup, that's how my Autumns go nowadays.

Anyhow. Enough of my bitchin'. You're here to view my pics. I'm posting to tell (and show) all those out there who don't have the money to decorate expensively or the knack to pull off a Pottery Barn look, to keep on truckin'. Cuz it takes practice. And I wanted to show everyone that, even though I love, love, love to decorate, I don't always get it right. Or perfect. But I keep trying. I made a post before about how I decorate with trial and error. It's always a work in progress, my decorating. This time is no different.

Here are my pics for my fall mantle:
I'm still not done with it. I think it needs tweaking. I just worked with what I had and tried to find something I liked.
And, of course, since I have no camera, these were taken with my iphone. So, not the best pics.

And here's another photo of another vignette I have up. Mostly going with orange:

This orange vignette is my pumpkin patch. Cuz there are sooo many pumpkins on display.

I wish I had better pictures. Oh well. Now, let me show you some of my favorite pins from Pinterest:


I always love the natural, rustic vibe of fall. I just can't seem to replicate it at my house.

Here are the issues I have with my mantle vignette (aside from the truly crappy pics):

1) My biggest problem is that it feels busy. Crammed. I hate crammed decoration. It just makes it feels like a bunch of tchotchkes threw up. But when I look at my inspiration pics they don't look crammed and obnoxious. They flow, ya know? And yet they still have stuff on them, like, stuff stuff. Get me?

This is my problem- too much stuff looks cluttered. Pottery barn-too much stuff= warm and inviting, and not too much. Or, reverse effect: my problem= too little stuff looks barren and cold. Pottery barn-too little stuff= minimalist and casual.

Most people say you shouldn't compare your decor to PB. After all, we don't live in a magazine. But still, others somehow manage to decorate beautifully (I only think one of my inspiration pics are PB).

2) I don't like the color of my candle sticks (no other color to tie into it on the other side) and I don't care for the container they're in (too stark white).

3) I'm undecided on the gold rectangular frame. Is it too much for the shelf? I have my mirror, a gold empty frame, and a white oval frame...too many shapes?

Now on to my orange vignette:
 I really like the clock with fall garland and I want to keep the orange platter and white cermaic pumpkins. But here's my issue with this vignette:

1) you can't even really see the 3 mason jars with votives in front of the orange platter due to the garland.

2) Too much orange? Too bright and cheesy? (i.e. the orange bow on my candle?)

3) Again, cluttered. Not simplistic. Your eye is traveling to see too many things so it can't settle anywhere.

My point in critiquing my decor is to tell you-it's not done. And to show people that you don't have to have a perfect look to link up to a link party. And don't get discouraged. Just keep trying. Eventually I will get that "Pottery Barn" look I want to achieve (might help if I had a better camera). It's all about trial and error. Give and take. Add and delete. I will work on my shelf/vignettes some more in the coming days and hopefully (if I'm not too lazy) post those updates.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Running! Staying fit for Zombie apocalypse...

This year I decided to attempt to stay healthy (hasn't really worked yet). Of course, my motivation was mostly my vanity (shed those pesky 10...um...20... ahem ::: mumble, mumble::: pounds) but  I knew since I was nearing my mid-30's it would benefit my health to get into shape. So, with the help of a friend (always makes it easier), I decided to start a Couch to 5K program (freebie app on my phone-C25K) to help me run regularly.

Let me just say, I am NOT a runner. Nor am I a healthy person. If you need any evidence of this fact just take a look at my statistics--I've been running for 2 months now 3-4 times per week (no lie!) at least 1.5-2miles at a time (most recently 2.5-3miles) and I've not lost one.single.pound. Luhvah says it's cuz I'm mostly likely gaining in muscle but I know it's cuz I just haven't changed my eating habits (80% of weight loss is made in the kitchen-not the gym). But what a bummer that I haven't even lost 5lbs. :(

Anyhow. As I said, I'm not a runner. I'm not here to tell you how completely freeing and rejuvenating it is and how I feel one with the universe (Oooommmmmmmmmmm) or any of that mularkey. Sure, there are moments when I run and I'm like, "Yes, I can do this. I feel good!" But most often than not my initial reaction is ::::whine:::: "No, I don't wanna run! Do I have to? Yes, you.must.run.Why? Why must I run? I can skip it. It won't kill me to skip it. OMG, it will kill me if I skip it. No! No. I should run. I can't skip it. Then again, how much could it hurt? Really, it's no big deal. I'm fine...Oh crap, I have to run. I will be a horrible person if I don't run.Get your arse up and RUN!!!!" That's pretty much my inner dialog each day I run (3-4 times a week. Rinse and Repeat). So, no I'm no runner. I feel glad that I finished after I'm done (like, OH-THANK-JESUS-I-DIDN'T-DIE-I'm finished).

My friend and I signed up for a 5K (a motivational goal) so we had something to look forward to. We decided on Miles for Hope which is in Clearwater, FL because of the time frame (fell perfectly for when our C25K program ended).

Here is the link to my page if ya want the details (or to donate to the cause which I'm running for-Brain Tumor awareness):


And last night I finally graduated my C25K program:

I can run the 5K (3.1 miles) in 37 minutes. Not great (not even average I believe). But I'm dying trying to run it in 36 minutes. Anyway, so far my time is 37 minutes. I'm really hoping all this running will help prepare me for the Zombie Apocalypse which, let's be honest, we all know will happen. Even the CDC has a page for it.

I will be back to post pics after the race. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


My daughter has been wanting a face cake since seeing this commercial about a year ago:

Every time we saw that commercial she would say, "I want a face cake. They look cool."

Unfortunately for my daugther she's got a really cheap mom (I'm hoping one day she'll appreciate that fact). But that means that I would never spend 20+ dollars on a store cake. For every birthday (except 1) I've always made her a cake myself (I'm no Bakerella  so it's always box cakes) but I could never understand the idea of spending 15.00-20.00 for a grocery store cake over making my own with some Betty Crocker and icing that costs all of 4.00? Kids never care. Sugar is sugar is sugar (in my household anyway). So, I always make her cake myself. One year I made a Spongebob cake, another rainbow cupcakes , another year she just had to have those pull apart cupcakes (you know, the ones that look like a full cake on top but are a bunch of cupcakes pushed together that you pull apart?). So, I've always tried new and different things for her.

Granted, my cakes have never come out looking professional (see here and here). But again, I don't know how much my daughter cares because SUUUGGARRRRRRR  she loves me and the effort I put into it (most of the time I let her help).

Anyway. Back to the point. This year she wanted a face cake. So when I stumbled upon this picture on Pinterest I just knew I had to make her a face cake:
I started by buying a box pound cake mix, disposable sheet cake pans (12x8 I believe was the size, came in set of 3), fresh strawberries, and 2 containers of cool whip. The total for this cake did come out higher than I normally spend at 13.00 I believe (mostly because of the strawberries-I'm sure you could substitue frozen and it'd be cheaper).

I started by making the pound cake as per the directions. I only used 1 box but poured half into 2 separate sheet cake pans for 2 separate thin layers. After baking I took out of their pans to cool on the counter:

(that lone strawberry is there cuz I forgot to take a pic until I was starting the next step).

Then, after they both had cooled I spread cool whip on 1 side and pressed slice strawberries into it:

Yum, looks great already. I carefully placed the other thin layer of pound cake on top of the strawberries and pressed gently:
After which I began to frost the whole darn thing. I needed a smooth surface for make face:
I used both cool whip containers.
Then, per the instructions from the blog, I found a pic of daughter and contrasted it in severe black and white:
and cut out the stencil with a razor blade:

So far so good. This is where it went downhill. I froze the cake to get a solid surface to work with and I made the cocoa sifted stencil on top:

I messed up. My problem was the paper. It was basic computer paper and not stiff enough. So, when I sifted powder on it and tried to lift it straight up it bent and bowed in the middle under the weight of the cocoa causing some of the powder to fall on the cake. Le sigh.
I was quite disappointed in my finished product. This looks like the Asian version of my daughter. And she's not Asian, she's Mexican (well, a quarter Mexican). So, I was rather disappointed. I know the reason it failed and if I ever did it again I would use a heavy duty card stock type of paper. That way it can take the weight of the cocoa when I dust it on.
I don't think my daughter was all that pleased but she knew I tried and was upset with the outcome and, bless her heart, she tried to make me feel better on her birthday about her cake! She's a really good 13 year old.
Anyway. There was my Pinterest try and FAIL but not cuz it didn't work but because it's got some kinks in it. So, all those out there reading-- learn from my mistakes!!!! This was a really neat idea and I wanna try again cuz it could absolutely turn out neat-o.